James is, as I have mentioned in the past, full of energy. He’s also insane. He loves to climb things and jump off. He dives onto things face-first with alarming detail. He runs 95% of the time. So unsurprisingly, he falls down a lot. His legs are covered in bruises, and he’s had more scrapes and goose eggs than I can remember.
On Sunday night, we were winding things down for bedtime. I was in another room when I heard a thud from the kitchen, and then James crying. He doesn’t usually cry when he falls, so I started heading that way. When I walked in, Annabel said with the casual tone of a person who’s seen it a million times, “James hit his face on the counter.” Mike bent down to pick him up, then yelped, “Oh no, he’s bleeding!”
There was a ton of blood coming out of James’ mouth. I grabbed a towel and tried to clean it up so I could figure out the source of the blood, but I guessed he’d bitten his tongue. As the towel absorbed the blood, I quickly checked to see if he had all of his teeth. After confirming all the top teeth were okay, I started to look at the bottom teeth. That’s when I saw the gash on the inside of his lip…and the matching gash on the outside.
“James bit through his lip! Everyone get shoes on, we’re going to the ER.”
We live a quarter of a mile from a hospital, so we were there quickly. At this point, James had stopped crying but he was still bleeding. Mike kept constant pressure on the gash.
We were brought back fairly quickly so a triage nurse could asses James and take his vitals. While he sat there, he never took his eyes off the nurse…I wasn’t sure if he was flirting or distrusting! At one point, he batted his eyelashes, pointed to his mouth, and said, “My mouf, it hoyts.” The nurse melted and said, “Your mouth hurts? Let me see what I can get you.” She disappeared and came back a couple moments later with a stuffed animal for him. This kept him occupied while we waited for the “stitches bed” (aka the bed with the best light) to open.
When James was moved to the bed, an examination revealed that he hadn’t bit all the way through his lip, but he’d come verrrry close. It was decided that he needed to be stitched up on the inside, but that the outside of his lip could make due with glue. I was glad he hadn’t bit all the way through his lip, but also grossed out because, if you remember, I think stitches are the grossest thing on earth.
Giving a small child stitches is…not easy. The medical staff at first toyed with the idea of Mike wrapping his body around James to keep him still, but that ideas was quickly squashed in favor of their standard stitches technique. First they stuck James’ arms into a pillow case behind his back, then they basically swaddled him in a large bedsheet. James was not a fan, and started yelling. Mike had to hold his legs down, a tech had to hold his head still, and I sang into his ear to attempt to keep him calm.
Still, James was hollering things like, “No like! James no like!” and “Almost done! Almost donnnnne!” The doctor sewing him up was amazingly fast, and after only a minute or so said, “I’m done!” I looked up only to discover she was not, in fast, done, and lonnnnnng strings were still hanging out of James’ mouth. I almost threw up on the spot. When she’d finally cut the strings and we sat James up, he yelled out, “All done YAAAAAAY!”
Because of the location of the gash, the doctor told us to keep James out of the pool for five days, and do our best to keep the liquid glue on his face. “But I know he’s a three-year-old and this is by his mouth, so as long as you can keep it on is fine.” The glue lasted about 22 hours.
I’m relieved that he doesn’t seem bothered by the injury most of the time. He’s still running around and diving face-first into things (damn it, James), and he’s already learned the fine art of milking it (Me: It’s bedtime! James: No…my mouff hoyts!), but he’s going to be just fine.
My brother had stitches in his face 5 times before he was 6 – his skin was so dry it would break rather than bruise – and he bit through his lip at a playground when we were there with just our neighbors (it was down the hill from our house so you could see us). That was a fun one to explain to my dad.
Bless your poor sweet boy! Days before his 5th birthday, my son had to get a staple in his head to fix up a gash, and he and I both cried. It was our first hospital visit, and it was the worst.
James sounds like my almost five year old. Other people gasp when they see/hear her fall. I wait for the cry, because 99% of the time she pops up and announces, “I’m ok!” There was one time she fell while at the movie theater with her grandpa and gashed her face by her eyebrow. We debated whether or not she needed stitches. I knew the situation would be like yours with James and that stitches would probably be more traumatic than helpful. We decided we got the bleeding stopped and it was not a real deep or wide cut, and we’d just clean it and take it from there. She has a little scar just above her eyebrow, but I’m sure it’s the first of many.
Poor kid. Glad to know he is doing fine though. And he still sure looks adorable with his little gash.
I’m so sorry about his lip. I bet that nurse did melt because he is so adorable.
My now 20 year old son knocked out two baby teeth on a coffee table when he was about 5, no stiches required but was still a scary site w blood dripping everywhere. Janes is adorable, beautiful eyes and those amazing, enviable lashes! Love reading stories about James and his adventures! Sorry he was hurt in this one. Feel better James!
Oh no! Hope he heals soon! My son was always hurting himself playing basketball. Broken bones and casts = no fun!
Glad he was ok. Wwhen he was three my brother was running thru the house with a blanket on his head (because-why not) and crashed into his bike and cut himself on the forhead. My mother actually thought he poked his eye out but no he just gashes himself above the eyebrow. My kid was spinning around and around to make herself dizzy and banged her head inot the table and needed stiches by the eye also lol. I agree blood and stiches are gross.
Oh no! Poor James and poor Mommy. I am dreading the day my son gets stitches or breaks a bone because it is inevitable. He is 2.5 and is always hitting his head as well.
He looks like Annie in that picture! I’m glad he’s doing well.
Oh James!!!! Such a dare-devil!!!! Such a boy!!! Glad you live close to the hospital, because if he turns out anything like my brother James…well, let’s just say our local ER rocognized us and knew us by name and his file had its own storage building!!! LOL
Glad he has all his teeth and that you survived the stitches process sans vomiting. How did Annie do? Concerned big sister protective of her brother, I’m sure! Well done Spohrs! You’ve made it thru your first big-time James tumble!!!
Poor little guy! It’s a miracle he didn’t knock a couple teeth out.
Poor James! There was nothing they could do to numb the area before stitches??
Dude. Not only accident prone but adorable while doing it. The kid has some skills.